The Discovery Collections house the only collection consisting solely of deep-sea and open-ocean invertebrates in the UK, collected from many areas of the world’s oceans starting in 1925. Within this collection are thirteen star specimens which were selected to be featured in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s (NMMC) exhibition “Monsters of the Deep”.
I worked with the manager of The Discovery Collections, Dr Tammy Horton, to learn more about the specimens, researching their key characteristics and unique traits in order to illustrate each one to be featured in video content, on our website and in print. The illustration style was inspired by Victorian wood carvings, leaning heavily into early horror genre aesthetics throughout the project. The illustrations were made for the NOC but requested by the NMMC to form part of the exhibition materials that accompany the specimens.
The Monsters are presented here in the booklet, the rough watercolour backgrounds gradually get darker throughout the booklet, this subtle colour change indicates the depth of the monster as they all come from different depth in the deep sea.